Fitness to Ease Frustration

How One Mum Went From Angry and Anxious to Fit and Fabulous

Everyone knows that motherhood changes you. I never expected it to change me the way it did though. Yes, motherhood changed me in wonderful and amazing ways, but it held a much darker side too. It brought out this angry, anxious person, a person who yells way too much and who runs out of patience a dozen times a day. I hate when I feel that anger bubbling up, taking over my usually rationale mind. I don't even really know why I'm so miserable, except that it seems being a mother has made me hyper-aware of the unfairness of life - how much seems to fall on my shoulders rather than on my husband's. How there aren't easy choices or win-win solutions.

I resent my husband when he flies off to work for 2 or 3 weeks at a time, getting meals cooked for him and going to the gym anytime he wants. But if I want to get a swim in I have to very carefully arrange my schedule and pray that the 3 year old won't cry when I drop him off at the gym's childcare centre. I want things to be easier, but I'm not good at just handing over the reins even when the option is there. And so I'm angry.

What does my anger have to do with this month's fitness theme? I didn't start working out to give myself an outlet, I did it because I was tired of the frumpy, tired, 30 lbs too many me. I did it because I read an article in a magazine about a perfectly normal, typical mama who decided she was going to participate in a triathlon. And then she did.

Something clicked in me when I read that article - I knew somehow that this was something I wanted to do. I love to swim, I enjoy biking, and um, running...not so much. But I thought I could manage for a short distance triathlon at least.

And so I started training. I walked more than I ran at first. I snagged a bike trainer sitting unused in a friend's garage. I swam almost not at all. My husband bought me a treadmill when he realized I was serious (serious but not really willing to run in the snow and brutal cold!) I created playlists of speedy songs to pump me up and my boys danced beside me while I got my run and bike sessions in.

In May I actually FINISHED my first triathlon! And soon I'll do my second, then I'm switching to half-marathon training for the fall. I'm unstoppable now! My 9 year old wants to try a kids triathlon, and I love being an inspiration to him and my other boys.

Fitness is the first thing I've found that gives me a real outlet for the simmering rage and frustration. What an amazing bonus to discover when my initial goal was to get more fit and to hopefully lose some weight. Weight loss and fitness are wonderful and make me physically feel so good. But getting rid of some of my dark feelings every time I run or bike or swim laps - that is priceless for my whole family.

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Laurie is a mom of three busy little boys. She works at home as a virtual legal assistant, takes university classes part-time, runs ICAN Canada and manages to fit triathlon training into her schedule too!